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Brand. Branding. These are buzzwords for a reason. Understanding your company’s brand is the most essential element of any business in any industry. It’s how your target client finds you. It’s how you create repeat clientele.

It’s how you set yourself up for maximum profit and quality of life.

Remember the first time you thought about your company’s branding? The name, the logo, the colors… oooh the website! You spent hours thinking about just the right font or the perfect image for your landing page…

And then…

It took forever to nail it down. The more work you did, the more choices you had, the harder it got to pick the elements that were JUST RIGHT. Maybe you thought you had it nailed, and then you showed it to people and everyone hated it. Agh, why?? Maybe you even hired people to help you, were completely blown away by the clever, slick results, but only to find that in the long run style didn’t provide substance. Our brand was not creating loyal fans, and then… you had to do it all AGAIN. FROM SCRATCH.

Time wasted, money thrown away, stress and pressure increasing.

If you have found yourself in this position, or something like it, you know how exhausting and crushing it can be to realize your brand isn’t what you thought it was. Whether you are about to start your business or are thinking about jumpstarting your business, make sure you avoid these three mistakes – they are BUSINESS KILLERS.

1) You don’t realize brand and branding are different and that brand is MUCH more important.

Your brand is your stand on the problem you solve, for whom you solve it, how you do it, and your ultimate goal. Out loud, proud, and clearly expressed. This rarely if ever changes. (More on that in a post coming soon!)

Your branding is how you visually represent your brand to yourself and the world. This can change (though only if it is for the sake of the client you want to attract, not because you are bored with it!). THIS IS WHERE PEOPLE GET LOST THE MOST. It’s not about how good your website looks, folks. It’s about nurturing your prospect’s connection with you as a result of their experience on the website.

2) You create your branding before understanding your BRAND, so your branding is not clear, consistent, or aligned.

Think about it:

How can you create a logo before you know what your client needs to feel from you? The best logos are powerful—evoking the tone and emotional reaction that speaks best to the person you can help the most.

How can you name your business or your products properly (hint: it should be like a lit up invitation sign to your ideal client) if you don’t know who needs you and what they need? When you think a name for your company or its products sounds fantastic, ask yourself if the name speaks to your ideal client’s problem. If it doesn’t clearly do that, TOSS IT IMMEDIATELY.

How can you know who needs you if you don’t even know what problem you are solving?
This is the big one. It doesn’t matter how great your product is if you don’t know who needs it. The more specific here, the better.

3) You are not creating a brand that gives equal weight to the mission of the leadership and the needs of the client.

The ideal brand considers which problem leadership most deeply wants to solve. Once it identifies that problem and who has it, the company focuses all of its energy on solving the problem for the right person. When the top of a company is inspired and clear, the effect trickles down easily and effortlessly throughout the company. Employees are happy because they can align themselves with the company’s purpose, and clients are happy because they are dealing with a company they can easily know, like, and trust.

Every single client we have ever worked with has made some form of one of these three mistakes. Sometimes it’s before they formally launch (preventative medicine, yes!), and sometimes it’s after years of struggling (Emergency Room visit, no!). Wherever you are in your journey, make sure you avoid these mistakes – we don’t want to see you in the branding ER!